I don't know. Sometimes a shawl is called a comfort-shawl, and sometimes a prayer-shawl but I prefer to think of them as big wooly hugs. There's tons of hugs and comfort after you lose someone as everyone hovers around, but after days and weeks and months pass, the shawl remains. The shawl is something physical to hold and people say that helps. I'm not overly religious and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be praying while making the shawl, or if she's supposed to wear it while praying...but I think the message is the same: the shawl is here for you always, and part of me will always be there within it.
*On a side note here's a picture of the two projects side by side from the same yarn. I'm always amazed at how you can start with the exact same materials and end up with something so amazingly different. But that's the beauty of fiber arts, n'est pas?